ANC reacts to Ramaphosa money laundering claims: Give our president space 'to make SA great again'

2019-06-24 16:54
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa during an ANC meeting in Pretoria. (Thulani Mbele, file)

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa during an ANC meeting in Pretoria. (Thulani Mbele, file)

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The ANC has broken its silence following claims that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating President Cyril Ramaphosa for money laundering.

The Sunday Times cited sources saying Mkhwebane had extended the scope of her probe into a R500 000 donation - received from African Global Operations (then Bosasa) boss Gavin Watson - during Ramaphosa's campaing to secure the ANC's presidency in 2017.

It's understood the Public Protector's office is investigating money laundering concerns, after questioning several transactions in three accounts linked to Ramaphosa and his campaign.

The claims are related to donations of more than R400m in donations.

Ramaphosa’s campaign manager, Benjani Chauke, has since rubbished claims of money laundering, while the DA, which lodged the original complaint in November 2018, spent most of Monday going back and forth with the Public Protector’s office over whether it wanted the investigation to go beyond the donation from Bosasa.

On Monday, Mkhwebane's office issued a statement saying she was "dumbfounded at emerging claims by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the CR17 campaign managers that she was never asked to investigate allegations of money laundering in relation to the African Global Operations donation to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign for governing party presidency".

DA leader Mmusi Maimane also challenged a report which suggested the opposition party had distanced itself from the money laundering aspect of the probe.

READ: Public Protector rubbishes claims she was never asked to probe Ramaphosa money laundering allegations

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe told journalists that the party was not shaken and still believed in its leader.

"The president of the ANC, who is also the president of the country, must be given space to lead. We have confidence in our president and believe the State of the Nation Address that he has tabled to the public is one that will allow us to make this country great again," said Mabe.

'The ANC will speak for itself'

The governing party's spokesperson was speaking outside the Johannesburg Central Police Station, where he had opened a complaint against Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr, who is alleged to have threatened violence against Ambassador Zindzi Mandela - daughter of struggle icons Nelson and Winnie Mandela - over her recent comments on land and DA MP Phumzile van Damme over an altercation she had with a member of the public at the V&A Waterfront last week.

Van Damme tweeted about her experience and revealed she had hit a man after he hurled racist slurs at her and threatened her.

"The president of this country has got a duty to ensure that jobs are given to citizens, a duty to ensure the manifesto we sold to the people of South Africa is ultimately realised," said Mabe.

READ: Ramaphosa increasingly isolated – a month after his inauguration

When asked about the ANC’s views on Mkhwebane, Mabe said her office, like other Chapter 9 institutions, should be allowed to do its job.

"There have been reports, the ANC is capable of speaking for itself, reports can’t speak for itself, reports don’t speak on behalf of the ANC, ANC speaks on behalf of itself," said Mabe.

He also rubbished claims that the ANC wanted the Public Protector to be assessed to see if she’s fit for office, and the views expressed by the SACP.

"If the ANC has a position on any institution of the state, the ANC will speak for itself," he added.

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Read more on:    anc  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  politics
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